Thursday, January 28, 2010

Let Them Drink Cake

My college roommate Kristy was from Tacoma, only a short drive from UW. This meant she visited her parents more often that I visited mine, and it also meant that we had her mom’s rich, gooey, boozy chocolate-kahlua cake on a regular basis. When Kristy returned from visits with her parents we stood, fork in hand, at her desk in the dorms…and then in the big messy kitchen of our 6-girl party house…and later at the kitchen counter in our little Northgate apartment, devouring the decadent Bundt cake straight from the cake plate or Tupperware container her mom sent it in. I loved that cake, and made it several times after college, always getting rave reviews. It was a pretty simple and easy recipe—boxed cake mix, boxed chocolate pudding mix, and lots of kahlua—but it packed a huge punch.

The other night, I felt a little nostalgic and decided to whip up the sugar coma, booze buzz-inducing dessert. Instead of going with the ol’ standby box mix recipe, I wanted to experiment with a homemade chocolate cake and change a few things up. I started from scratch, reinventing the cake to make it even more boozy, gooey, and rich than it already was.

The cake itself was moist and deeply (but not too sweetly) chocolaty, studded with pecan pieces that added just the right amount of crunchy texture, especially after I soaked it with rich, boozy syrup made from Mel’s homemade kahlua. The cake soaked up the syrup, and after removing it from the pan after 30 minutes, the outer edges were gooey and almost fudge like, without being soggy. It’s definitely best served warm, alongside a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream, with an extra drizzle of kahlua syrup over the top.

But...old habits die hard. As I stood at the kitchen counter eating it straight from the Bundt pan at 9:30PM, I knew my experiment was a success…this one is a keeper, a recipe that really lets you have your cake and drink it too.

Boozy Chocolate Kahlua Cake

For the cake:
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 cups cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup lowfat milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup kahlua
1 cup chopped pecans- divided in half

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a budnt pan. Add 1/2 cup of pecans to bottom of bundt pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt- whisk or stir together. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; mix on medium speed until well combined. Add boiling water and kahlua. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan, and add remaining nuts. Baked for 50-55 minutes. Pour about 3/4 of the Boozy Kahlua Syrup on cake while it's still hot out of the oven. Let sit for 30 minutes before removing cake from pan. Serve with remaining syrup.

For the syrup:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/4 cup water
3/4 cups kahlua

Boil sugar, butter, and water for 2 minutes, until bubbly and gooey. Remove from heat and add kahlua. Pour about 3/4 of syrup over hot cake, and let sit for 30 minutes before turning upside down and removing cake from pan. Serve cake with remaining syrup.
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